Monday, July 18, 2016

Recipe Collection - Paleo Mushroom Gravy and Slow Cooked Rump Roast

I'm sharing this recipe here in case I ever decide to go full on paleo.  Didn't happen last night as I served some red potatoes with this meal, but the roast turned out pretty good.  I'm making soup from the left overs.

1-2 lbs beef rump roast
3 cups chicken broth
2 large onions, chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 8oz container of sliced mushrooms
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp paprika
½ cup full fat coconut milk, canned

Place broth, coconut milk, onions, garlic, mushrooms and spices in a crock pot.  Stir to combine/mix.

Add the rump roast to the pot.  (I didn't sear my roast first as that was not part of the directions, but I think I would do it if and when I make this again.)

Cook on low 6-8 hours.

This recipe came from Juli Bauer's book, "OMG, That's Paleo?"

Friday, July 15, 2016

Recipe Collection - Paleo Chicken, Cauliflower, Sweet Potato Curry AND Fresh Corn On The Cob Tip

Don't get your panties in a twist - I know that corn on the cob is not part of a paleo diet.  I like corn on the cob.  I'm not strictly paleo.  I'm not even half paleo but I do understand that the paleo kind of lifestyle is a healthy choice for many people.  I do think that maintaining a diet using a minimal amount of processed food is a good thing.  Technically, you pick a fruit or vegetable, or kill an animal for consumption, and then heat it - it is now processed.  But I digress.  My recipe collection is primarily recipes that I like.  And there you have it.

Surfing on Pinterest, I saw a tip for corn on the cob at  It was so successful that my husband even commented on it.....and he is not one to pass out cooking compliments unless he really, really likes something.  Bring a big pot of water to a boil.  Add 1 cup milk and 1 cube of butter.  Peel and de-silk 6-8 ears of corn.  Add to the pot.  Reduce heat to low.  Cook 8 minutes until corn is down.  That's how the recipe read.  Because there are only two of us, I cut the amounts to suit.  I used ½ cup milk, and about ⅓ cube of butter, plus a dash of sugar, and 2 ears of corn.  I also broke the corn in half, and cooked it for 10 - 12 minutes.  Turned out really, really good.

The paleo chicken recipe comes from "OMG That's Paleo?" cookbook by Juli Bauer (  It is called Aloo Gobi.  And it was yummy! And let me say, her style of writing is a hoot, so it was entertaining as well.

1 - 14 oz can of coconut milk
1 head of cauliflower, leaves and stems removed and chopped in small florets
1 sweet potato, cubed
½ pound chicken cubed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp almond buter
1 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp garam masala
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Put a large pot or pan over medium heat, and add coconut oil and garlic to sauce.
2.  Once the garlic is fragrant, add the coconut milk and spices.  Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
3.  Chop veggies and chicken.  Note:  I used 1-2 chicken breasts that I had cooked earlier in the day and then shredded and it turned out fine.
4.  Place sweet potato and cauliflower in the coconut milk mixture, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Note:  I let it simmer about 15 minutes because I like my cauliflower a little softer.
5.  Add chicken and almond butter, stir to mix, cover again, and let simmer for another 6-8 minutes (or longer) until chicken is cooked, and the veggies are to your crisp/softness preference.  Stir occasionally and add additional coconut milk if necessary.

This made about 6 servings.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Spiritual Sunday - Striving For Serenity

The following is a passage from Around The Year With Emmet Fox: A Book of Daily Readings by (you guessed it) Emmet Fox.

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:34)

Always remember that the only thought that you need to concern yourself with is the present time.  The thoughts of yesterday or of last year do not matter now, because if you can get the present thought right, it will make everything else right here and now.  The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to make today's consciousness serene and harmonious.

Never go delving in your mind to look for troubles to pray about.  Deal faithfully with those that bring themselves to your attention, and hidden things will be taken care of."

Training yourself not to worry takes practice - a lot of practice.  I know, because my dad was a world class worrier and he came from a long line of worriers.  Growing up, I learned to worry about everything from the weather to missing an exit on the freeway to flat tires to paying bills to health issues (minor to major).  Every day, we would find things to worry about.  My mom, the spiritual/religious one in the family, spent equal amounts of time praying to overcome the effects of all that worrying and telling us all just to relax.  If she were alive today, her phrase would be "Let go and let God."

Fear and faith are opposites ends of the spectrum.  I don't know why fear is so much easier than faith. I think most spiritual teachers, pastors, priests, and counselors would agree that faith and trust in the inherent good in all takes training and practice.  Just as we have to exercise our muscles to become strong, we must exercise/train our mind to respond to fear based thoughts in a positive and healthy manner.  As it is said, the first step to recovery is recognizing/acknowledging that you have a problem.  When you find yourself worrying, recognize/acknowledge that it is just a thought and you can change it.  One of the fears I used to deal with (okay - it still concerns me from time to time) was about getting a flat tire.  Why this was such a big deal to me, I'm not sure, but it was.  I made a deal with myself that I would no longer worry about the possibility of a flat tire, and I would save all that anxiety and allow it to come forth when and if a flat tire occurred.  When we were having financial challenges, I would have trouble sleeping because my mind was so busy worrying about how to pay the bills.  I finally made an agreement with myself that I could only worry about money when it was actually time to get the checkbook out and be paying those bills.

Nature abhors a vacuum.  Therefore, when you consciously decide to cast aside, delete, change, clear, cancel, squash - whatever term you use - those fear based thoughts, you need something to replace them.  This is where affirmations come in handy.

When I find myself all wrapped in worry, I think or say "Stop!" and then I replace that worry thought with a positive one.  Here are some of my favorites:

I am prosperous.
I am a healthy, wealthy child of God.
Out of this situation, only good can come.
God's will for me is health and harmony.
I trust in the wisdom and goodness of life.

Like a mantra, I will repeat the affirmation over and over and over until I feel in control and have calmed down.  And here's an interesting tidbit - the affirmation or positive thought does not have to match the worry.  It just needs to replace it.  I use "I am prosperous" quite often.  It is simple to remember, and leads to some fun day dreams.  Being prosperous, I might just find myself in Tuscany, biking around the rolling hills.....Okay, reality check, I don't bike, but I might be sitting in a garden sampling wine from the area.  You get the idea.

Worrying is a waste of energy.  It accomplishes nothing except to cause you to be anxious, tense, sick to your stomach, etc.  Affirming something positive feels much better.

For more information on the process of shifting from fear to faith, negativity to positivity, worry to peace, check out books by New Thought teachers such as Catherine Ponder, Florence Scovel Shinn, Napoleon Hill, Emmet Fox, Louise Hay and more.

In the meantime, join me in affirming "I strive for serenity in all situations."

Wishing you a blessed and beautiful day!

Monday, May 23, 2016

New Hobby #2 - Painting For Kids

Technically, it is not a "new" hobby.  I took up painting about a year ago.  Having never had a painting lesson, I can't really identify my style.  I paint what appeals to me.  And recently, I've been painting what appeals to my grandsons.

I have one grandson who is a nut about animals, and his younger brother is learning to talk and verbally identify pictures of animals.  So I guess it is no surprise that I've been painting animals.

I am not sure how I came up with this process, but I first sketch the animal on card stock and then outline it with a Sharpie.  Next I paint it with acrylics.  When it dries, I cut it to fit a canvas board which I have spray painted with a complementary color.  Next I modge podge the painting to the board, and top it with two additional coats of modge podge.  For the final step, I spray it with an acrylic coating.

I am retired and therefore I am not looking at painting as an occupation or career, but as an avocation.    My collection of these paintings is growing.  My daughter has informed me that her animal loving son has more than enough paintings.  And my husband, although he says nothing, would not choose to decorate our home with these pieces.  So I'm looking for ideas on where to sell, market or donate these pieces.  I am not looking to make money, other than to pay for supplies, and really, I would like to find some place to donate my work.  Maybe a women's shelter or to foster families.  If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Sending you all blessings for a beautiful day!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Spiritual Sunday - What You Think Of Me none of my business.

Oh Lord, I have had trouble with this concept forever!  I want to be well respected.  I want to be liked.  I want to be known for my kindness and my integrity.  So how can what you think of me NOT be of concern?

I have been a student/fan of Emmet Fox for a long time.  I'm probably on my tenth year of reading "Around The Year With Emmet Fox: A Book Of Daily Readings."  This means that I have read the following passage at least ten times, but today it seems to have taken hold.

"It is unquestionable that the spiritualization of thought does undoubtedly lead the student to simplify his mode of life, for so many things that previously seemed important are now found to be unimportant and uninteresting.  It is unquestionable too, that he gradually finds himself meeting different people, reading different books, spending his time differently; and that his conversation naturally changes its quality.  These things follow upon the change of heart; never can they precede it.

Now we see how vain is the foolish attempt to cultivate the good opinion of other people under the impression that such a thing can be of any real advantage to us.....The applause that follows upon outer acts is the only reward they ever bring, and that results worthwhile are only to be obtained in the Secret Place of consciousness."

Whether you like/admire/respect me is a matter of ego (or fear based thinking).  Whether I AM happy with myself, my values, my morals, my behavior, my thoughts, etc., is what truly matters.

When we feel drawn to new experiences, new relationships, new interests, we shouldn't let the opinions of others (what they think of us) sway our actions.  On some level, a lesson has been learned and it is time to move forward in your expanded thinking and spiritual awareness.  Journey on!

Wishing you blessings for a beautiful day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My New Hobby - Photography

I'm not sure "new" is the right word.  I've always been interested in photography, primarily landscape and nature, and of course my kids and grandkids.  I had a SRL camera years ago, back in the olden days when film was used.  It was too complicated for me at that time.  The hobby was put on the back burner.

The age of digital photography has been a god-send for me.  I recently bought a Nikon D3300, and I am still in the beginning stages of getting acquainted with the "how to" of it all.  Right now, I'm just shooting random shots and hoping I get a good picture.  It is so nice to be able to delete those crappy shots without having to pay to have them printed.

Yesterday, my husband and I took one of our grandsons to North Creek Park in the Mill Creek/Bothell area of Snohomish County, WA. I got a couple of good shots of birds as we walked along the boardwalk.

Red-breasted Sapsucker

American Robin with worm

And a few shots of birds I've taken elsewhere.

Downy Woodpecker

Spotted Towhee

American Crow

SeaGull (I believe it is a Ringed Bill Gull)

Ducks (the one is definitely a male mallard and the one photobombing on the right I believe is a female mallard - the white billed one with the black head is possibly an American Coot)

Northern Flicker


Any birders out there?  It's been through reading other blogs (mostly RV travel blogs) that got me interested in bird watching, although my paternal grandfather was a big birdwatcher.

Blessings to you all for a beautiful day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Empties - Chobani Greek Yogurt Flips

I stumbled upon a blog by a woman named Beth called E. Lizard Breath Speaks - Let's Travel  In her blog, she shares some wonderful pictures and videos she has taken of her travels.  While looking at her blog, I found a link to a You Tube Video Log she did called "Empties".  Basically it is a review of products she has used and she has the empty bottles/containers to prove it.

I always thought that was a great idea.  My problem is that if I don't like something right away, I'm certainly not going to use it until it is empty.  I toss it and start all over with something else.  When I find something I really like, I tend to stick with it.  So I am a bit puzzled as to why I decided to jump in a try some of the new flavors of Chobani Greek Yogurt Flips, but I did.  And so here is my version of Empties.

These two flavors are my absolute favorites to date.  I give the Almond Coco Loco a 5 star rating!  I eat this for breakfast probably 20 days out of the month!  My second favorite is the Key Lime Crumble.  It earns a 4 ½ star rating.  I absolutely love coconut and dark chocolate, which is the only reason the Almond Coco Loco scores slightly higher.  There are 12 grams of protein in each serving.  There are 240 calories in the Almond Coco Loco and 200 calories in the Key Lim Crumble.

These three flavors are my example of trying something new.  These are the newer flavors recently introduced by Chobani.  And they are something that I normally would not have tried.  To stores and marketers, yes, shoppers will try new things that they would not have usually purchased when the price is right.

I scored these three flavors with 3 stars each.  They were good, but not quite as tasty to me.  I would buy them again if the two I mentioned above were not available. The Chipotle Pineapple was surprisingly good.  I've never been attracted to the sound of pineapple yogurt but my daughter really likes it so I decided to give it a try.  The chipotle gave it a bit of a kick.  I added 1 tablespoon of white chocolate chips and that bumped the flavor up to 4 stars.  The Sriracha Mango was also a surprise.  The Sriracha was too strong for me, so I added 1 tablespoon of white chocolate chips and that toned it down a bit.  I would still give it 3 stars.  Peanut Butter Dream was a stretch for me.  Peanut Butter and yogurt?  Not appealing to my tastes.  But I threw caution to the wind.  It was surprisingly okay, made better by 1 tablespoon of dark chocolate chips.  In each of these, the chips added about 70 calories to each serving.  Each flavor is a little different calorically, but it works out to 12 grams of protein and approximately 300 calories.

In the past, I have tried Coffee Break Bliss, Chocolate Haze Craze and Salted Carmel Crunch, none of which I liked or even tolerated enough to consider purchasing again. In fact, I never finished the servings and ended up tossing them out.

As far as other flavors that I haven't tried - Tropical Escape and Peachy Pistachio are possibilities.  Under the heading of "Ain't No Way" will be PB&J and Nutty For 'Nana.  I'm not a jelly person and if I can smell banana, it's already too ripe for me to eat.

Do you have favorite yogurts?

Wishing you blessings for a beautiful day!